A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

by MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN Peter Nichols’ A Day in the Death of Joe Egg is a provocative play, disturbingly frank in its portrayal of a couple’s experience raising a daughter with cerebral palsy.  Nichols is unflinching in his depiction of Bri (Randy Schmeling) and Sheila (Mary Fox) and the emotional strain of parenting a child…

Miss Richfield 1981: We’ll All Be Dead By Christmas!

by CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE Russ King’s hilarious holiday drag satire pokes fun of Christmas, religion, sexual orientation, Mayan doomsday predictions and Minnetonkans. No group is safe from Miss Richfield 1981’s sharp-tongued, spike-heeled humor. King’s hysterically funny Miss Richfield 1981: We’ll All Be Dead By Christmas, back for its 13th and possibly final year, is a holiday tradition for many of the repeat audience…

2 Sugars, Room for Cream

by MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN The funny I expected, the poignancy I didn’t.  2 Sugars, Room for Cream is a surprisingly moving collection of comic vignettes draped over incidental meetings with coffee, and some harder stuff here and there (“I keep a spare in the trunk” does not refer to a tire). Written and performed by…

Learn to be Latina

By CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE Learn to be Latina at the Mixed Blood Theatre throws political correctness out of the window and presents the notion of “palatably ethnic” entertainment to post-9/11 audiences. In the hysterical comedy written by Enrique Urueta and directed by Mark Valdez, the Lebanese-American heroine, Hanan Mashalani, played charmingly by Jaime Elvey in…

Mary à la carte

by SOPHIE KERMAN All laughter is both highly personal and intensely social. We don’t laugh much when we’re alone, but the experience of shared laughter can bring a roomful of people together. Mary à la carte, which has just opened at the New Century Theatre after previous runs at the Bryant Lake Bowl, finds this common bond in…

Hay Fever

by SOPHIE KERMAN In 1925, when Noël Coward wrote Hay Fever, going to the theater could be thought of as the pre-TV equivalent of staying in and watching Netflix. And just like a good night of TV, the theater has the potential to offer something for everyone – suspenseful drama, for those who want to…

T Bone N Weasel

by SOPHIE KERMAN There is a thin line between satire and mockery, and when it comes to racial or regional stereotypes, that line can get uncomfortably thin. T Bone N Weasel, an “underdog comedy” that tries to tackle issues such as racism and social class through the voyage of two ex-cons in South Carolina, steps a…

As You Like It

by ANNA ROSENSWEIG It’s easy to forget just how many common English expressions and turns of phrase come from Shakespeare’s plays. One of the pleasures of hearing his plays performed today is noticing these expressions and situating them in their Shakespearean contexts. Take As You Like It. We’re all familiar with the famous declaration “All…

An Ideal Husband

by SOPHIE KERMAN American audiences seem to have a special fascination with the world of the British upper-classes. Whether it is a fixation on the fates of Jane Austen’s characters or an addiction to BBC’s “Downton Abbey,” there is something about the poise and apparent ease with which the British conduct their financial and romantic…

Crashing the Party

by ANNA ROSENSWEIG What happens when two over-privileged adult children throw a birthday party for their wealthy father? This is the premise of Crashing the Party, a new play by Josh Tobiessen that wonders whether the tenacity needed to achieve the “American Dream” can be passed from one generation to another. Once one generation has…